Monday Blog: The Boys of Our Lady

 

 

 

We’ve arrived at the final blog post for the month of June. To close out one of this month’s themes, this one is all about the male characters in the Our Lady of Righteous Rage series. I won’t lie: this is my favorite W.E. series, and I’ve sort of been looking forward to this post.

Our Lady follows Amy Edwards and friends as they start a business, a band, and try to keep up with both, while jumping over hurdle after hurdle. What sets this series apart from the others I’ve published so far, are the characters: they are anthropomorphic cats. However, when you’re reading the books in this series, you may find yourself completely ignoring that, and just enjoying the story. Another difference: stream of consciousness. Each chapter is narrated by a different character (think William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying). On the surface, that may sound confusing, but I can assure you it’s not. The chapters are short, and there aren’t that many characters to keep up with. So, let’s get to the boys, shall we? (SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!)

David Sarconi: He and Amy start out as friends, then they become boyfriend and girlfriend, then they get married. And then, it all changes. David tries to be passionate about music, but he just doesn’t seem to be his thing. On top of that, he doesn’t think it should be Amy’s thing, either. He’s also Nick’s cousin, and while the two start out just fine, David changes and begins to distance himself from his cousin.

Nicolas “Nick” Lianetti: Born in Sicily and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nick is the lead singer and primary song writer for Our Lady of Righteous Rage. Music has been his passion since he was young. His father wasn’t around very much while he was growing up, but it helped shape him into a mature and responsible young man (or cat). He’s very even-tempered; he remains calm in situations that would send any other person into a rage (such as a cheating girlfriend…).

Aidan Sirci: Okay, I’ll just say it: Aidan is my favorite male character in the series. Life knocked him down more times than not, but he just keeps getting up. He’s generally cheerful and in a good mood, cracking jokes and making sarcastic remarks. He’s Nick’s best friend, and Amy’s non-biological big brother. Tall, blond, and green-eyed, most of the band’s female fans tend to gravitate to him, even though he’s deeply in love with his wife, Dee.

Rob Zickye: He’s half Scottish and half German, and the tallest member of the band (six foot five, btw). He’s been in love with Amy since they met in high school, but the two don’t get together until later on. Rob is a self-taught drummer, and can play nearly any song by ear. He’s also my second favorite, and another character who’s father wasn’t in the picture (a common theme in this series). He’s protective of his family, especially his older brother, who happens to be bipolar.

Mike Murnsen: Mike knows his way around audio and recording equipment. He’s been helping his father at his store since he was young, and when Our Lady opens a studio, he helps them produce their first album. Later, he becomes their manager.  He’s married to one of  the founding members of  the Urban Collective, Vanessa. The two of them constantly bounce ideas off one another. Mike is quiet, but he has no problem standing up for himself, or the band.

Jon Sarconi: Amy’s adopted son. He’s actually David’s younger cousin, and the two of them adopted him shortly after they got married. After their divorce, Amy had to fight to get custody of Jon. He idolizes his mother, and wants to be a rock star, just like her. The older he gets, the more assertive he becomes.

Next week is the first week of July, so it will be time for a new theme. I’m considering running 2 again. One of them will be New Fiction: I’m working on three new books, and my mother is working on one, too! If you’re an indie author and you’d like to share what you’re working on, please contact me. I’d love to post some info about you and your work! Until next week…

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Monday Blog: The Ladies of “Our Lady”

 

Hello! Welcome to the first official blog post of the month of May! To kick off one of the two themes of the month, Female Character Month, I decided to start with the ladies of the Our Lady series. Her we go….

The Ladies of Our Lady of Righteous Rage

While there is a pretty long list of female characters in the Our Lady series, I’m going to focus on the most important ladies, who appear across nearly every book.

Amy Edwards: Amy is the lead character of the series, and she handles most of the narration.  She grew up in a single-parent home, with her two brothers and her sister. Raised in Bayside, in New York, Amy falls in love with Punk Rock when she receives a copy Green Day’s Dookie album. From there, she decides to learn to play the guitar. She and her friends start playing, and eventually form a band, Our Lady of Righteous Rage, named after a poem Amy wrote. She’s also a mother: she and ex-husband David Sarconi adopted his cousin Jon when he was little, and despite the divorce Amy and Jon are still extremely close.

Dee Seybrook: Amy’s best friend, and the wife of Our Lady’s bassist, Aidan Sirci. Dee is petite, but she has no problem standing up for herself, and refuses to be pushed around. She’s a singer, and a drummer; she discovers she has a natural talent for drumming and develops it very quickly.

Nyda Summit: Dee’s cousin, and Nick Lianetti’s wife. Nyda is soft-spoken and tall, and an artist. Photography is her passion, and she has even taken pictures of the members of Our Lady for their album covers.

Vanessa Vance: The woman with the plan. Vanessa comes up with the idea of running a business with her friends in high school. She’s the co-founder of the Urban Collective: the store she and her friends created in order to sell their books, music and artwork. Vanessa is ambitious and a handworker, and will do anything to help her business and her friends succeed.

Carmen Portez: Carmen went to school with Amy, Dee and Vanessa. She’s a talented painter, and she began selling her artwork while she was still in high school. She eventually opened her very own art studio, Portez Art Studio, where she shows her artwork, and the work of other local artists.

Erin Michaels: Erin goes from quiet girl who likes to read, to a Punk Rock/Emo chick with a passion for music. She meets the band, and begins to work for them, after a tragic experience with her family brings her and her mother to New York. She later becomes the band’s social media expert. She’s particularly fond of Amy, and thinks of her as a big sister.

Olivia Midkiff: One of Jon’s friends and a really talented drummer.  Olivia is upbeat and generally in a good mood. When Dee takes her under her wing, the two form a big sister-little sister relationship. Olivia is sometimes unsure of herself, but she’s learning to be more confident. 

 

I created all of these characters years before I wrote this series. I used bits and pieces of my personality, and my mother’s personality, when I developed them for the Our Lady series. There’s a lot of Mom in Dee and Nyda (especially Dee). Amy and Erin represent my punk rock side. One of the reasons Our Lady is written using stream of consciousness, is because I wanted to give watch character an opportunity to grow and change. You meet Amy, Dee, Nyda, Vanessa and Erin, as teens, and you get to watch them “grow up”, so to speak. And, it was important to have a female character in the lead role. Amy’s talents as a guitarist, song writer, and artist, reflect my personal belief that girls can do anything. She’s a challenge to the status quo.

If you haven’t read Our Lady of Righteous Rage, I hope you decided to pick it up and see what its all about. I think you’ll enjoy it. 

A little something from “Righteous”

I’m still working on Our Lady of Righteous Rage #4: Righteous. Here’s a little sample from Chapter 62. Enjoy!

           “Think about it,” Nick said. “If it wasn’t for Our Lady, would any of us visit Kansas City or Chicago? Albuquerque or Scottsdale? Would any of us even venture out this far? We were just kids in New York, learning to play guitars and writing songs here and there. Now look at us! We’re playing gigs across the country. We’re just a little indie punk band, and people in Arizona and California and Illinois actually want to pay to hear us play! How’d that happen?”

            We were silent. It made me think about where I was, just a few years ago. Graduating from high school. Moving around with Mom. Homeless and living in a hotel room. Then, working in a bookstore. Working at Urban Collective. Making friends with rock stars. How did that happen?

            “It happened because it was meant to,” Mike said, standing up from his chair. “I don’t want to get too religious and freak anyone out, but I believe there’s a plan for everyone. Call it God, or the Divine, or the universe, or whatever, but there’s a higher power out there, that creates a purpose for all of us. I didn’t really know what my purpose was, until you asked me to be your manager. I didn’t think I could do it. But you had faith in me, so I just put my best foot forward, and did what I thought was the right thing. We’re here, because we’re supposed to be here. You feel me?”

 

Monday Blog: My Inspiration for Our Lady of Righteous Rage

Happy Monday, everyone! This week, I’m thinking about all of the things that inspire me to write. I like to keep my mind active while I’m working on a book, and one way I do this is by reading material that relates to what I’m working on. I also engage in activities that relate to what I’m working on (if I can). I’m currently writing the first draft for Righteous, book four in the Our Lady of Righteous Rage series, so I’m doing a few things to keep me inspired.

 

greenday

Music: I’m a huge fan of Punk Rock, and that’s the basis of this series. I also listen to Indie Rock, a little Goth, and a few other genres.  I always listen to music while I’m on the bus or the train, but lately I’ve been making more of an effort to listen to it while I’m writing. The bands I’m listening to at the moment are:

Green Day (of course)

Blink 182

The Killers (“The Man” is my new work-out song)

Led Zeppelin

Jack White

Fall Out Boy

Portugal. The Man

IAMX (I heard “Look Outside” on How To Get Away With Murder, and now I’m in love with it!)

Fleetwood Mac (“The Chain”; thank you Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

Bauhaus (“Bella Lugosi’s Dead”)

That’s just the short version of the list. I can’t even begin to tell you how much music is on my phone, or how many CD’s I own (yes, I still listen to CD’s).

 

 

Guitars: I still have two of my electrics, Billie Joe and Jack. I recently donated Dillinger, my Maestro by Gibson. I’ve been spending more time with them. My goal is to get better at playing power chords. In the meantime, playing is relaxing. I used to be lazy and sit down every time I played. One day I stood up without realizing it, so that’s an improvement. I recently taught myself to play “Smile Like You Mean It”, by The Killers.

 

Reading: I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again: READ THE GENRE YOU’RE WRITING FOR!!!! When I’m working on anything Our Lady related, I read a ton of material about Punk Rock, music, and thumb through issues of Alternative Press and Guitar Player. I recently finished New York Rock by Steven Blush. Being a New Yorker who loves rock, I really enjoyed reading this book. It contains a lot of history about New York bands, like Velvet Underground and New York Dolls. I’ve read books like Please Kill Me and Everybody Loves Our Town, but this book was focused on New York, which made it extra special.

I believe finding things to inspire your writing is essential. Listening to music, playing my guitars and reading books and magazines that are music-related, helps me keep my brain focused on my writing, and I manage to get more writing done. If you ever find yourself facing a case of Writer’s Block, you may want to give this a try.  

Monday Blog: Recommended Reading; NaNoWriMo 2017

 

Here we are: the final Monday Blog post for the month of October. I decided to end “Emo Month” with a few recommendations for books, and a reminder that NaNoWriMo 2017 is coming! Here we go…

Recommended Reading

These are books I have read, or am currently reading. To me, they are either emo-related, or goth-related, or punk (let’s throw grunge into that category, while we’re at it).

Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers and Emo by Andy Greenwald. This one is loaded with interesting information, interviews, and song and band references.

Please Kill Me: The Uncenseored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain . TONS of interviews from Richard Hell, Tom Verlaine, the Ramones, etc.

The Goth Bible: A Compenduim for the Darkly Inclined by Nancy Kilpatrick. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about being a Goth.

Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge by Mark Yarm . Plenty of interviews with the musicians who started the grunge movement, including Chris Cornell.

Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture by Leslie Simon. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about being Emo.

 

If you have any recommendations you’d like to share, hit me up on Twitter: @NicoleWoolent

NaNoWriMo 2017

Next month is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, for those who don’t know. This is the time of year when writers kick everything into high gear, and do their best to finish that novel they started back in January (or February, or whenever…). My novel to complete, is The Witch of Fulton Lane. Some writers obsess over the number of words they write. I’m planning to keep track of the number of words for my current book, but if I don’t meet my goal, I’m good with that. The important thing, is FINISHING the book. That’s my goal.  If you would like to join the NaNo community, here is a link to their website: https://nanowrimo.org/

See you next month!!

 

Monday Blog: From Novocaine to Another Shot of Novocaine: How Has Erin Changed?

 

 

Greetings, everyone! Welcome back to the Monday Blog. This week I wanted to talk a little about how Erin, the main character in Another Shot of Novocaine, has changed since her last stand-alone book.

In Novocaine, you met Erin when she was a fresh-faced (and fresh-mouthed) teenager. The story begins when Erin is seventeen, and graduating from high school. She and her mother decide to listen to Erin’s Uncle Nikos and move from Virginia to Georgia, with the promise of a new life. Things quickly turn sour, and Erin finds herself facing some new and unexpected challenges. Over the course of a few years, she makes new friends, gets a boyfriend, and lands a fantastic job working for Our Lady of Righteous Rage.  She transforms from quiet, worried teenager, into a young adult who is finding herself and is less afraid to speak her mind.

Erin’s personality in Another Shot hasn’t changed very much since the end of Novocaine.  She’s still bold, and still a punk/Emo. She has learned to navigate her new job, and she’s become even better at it. All of the events she dealt with in Novocaine are going to help her face her greatest challenge: reconnecting with her estranged father.

I debated on how to have Erin react to the news her father gives her in Another Shot. Should she be alarmed, or excited, or happy? Then, I asked myself, how would I react? After reading Another Shot, I think you’ll find Erin’s way of dealing with the situation suits her personality.


Another Shot of Novocaine is coming soon! Until next Monday…